Panaji: Lobbying has begun in Goa BJP after the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of state minister Fransisco Mickky Pacheco, creating likelihood of vacancy in the ministry.
Pacheco, a Goa Vikas Party leader and Nuvem MLA, was inducted in the state cabinet in November last year after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar resigned (to join the union cabinet) and Laxmikant Parsekar took over.
Sources in BJP said several party MLAs were eyeing berth in the ministry in the event of Pacheco's exit.
"At present there are no moves to drop Pacheco. The government is yet to study the SC order," said a source close to the Chief Minister Parsekar.
"There are no indications at present that Pacheco might resign," the source said.
"The party is yet to take any decision on the issue," said BJP Goa unit chief Vinay Tendulkar, when asked whether the party would press for Pacheco's exit.
Pacheco is currently in New Delhi. Sources close to him said he was exploring the legal options.
The Supreme Court bench of Justices F M I Kalifulla and Shiva Kirti Singh yesterday dismissed the special leave petition filed by Pacheco against the High Court verdict which had upheld sentence of six months' imprisonment for him.
An FIR for assault was lodged on July 15, 2006 by Kapil Natekar, a junior engineer of the government's Electrical Department, against Pacheco, who was a minister then too.
It alleged that Pacheco abused and slapped Natekar in his chamber after summoning him over for not attending the telephone call of the minister's personal assistant.
A judicial magistrate at Margao convicted Pacheco and sentenced him to one-year jail term and a fine of Rs 5,000. Appellate court reduced the jail term to six months and the fine to Rs 1,500.
Upon revision plea, the sentence was set aside and he wasreleased on 'admonition' under Probation of Offenders' Act, but the HC overturned this ruling.